GDG- Killing Lincoln

Teej teej at
Mon Jan 16 20:09:59 CST 2012

Esteemed GDG Member Peter Contributes:

My version is that the guy got all excited and had to be  restrained for
awhile but I forget where I read it.

    Kauffman relates the incident in a footnote (#41 page 437 "American 

     "Some writers believe the story of John W. Westfall, an officer of the 
Capitol Police, who later claimed to have held Booth back as he lunged for 
the president. Benjamin B. French recorded his recollection of the incident 
just after the assassination. According to French, a man lunged at the 
president, and he (French) ordered Westfall to grab him. The man insisted he 
had a right to be there, and thinking he might be a new member of Congress, 
French told the policeman to let him go. Benjamin French to Francis O. 
French, April 24, 1865, French Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of 
Congress. See also Weichmann, " A True History," 90-93. A photograph of the 
event purporting to show Booth and his conspirators standing close to the 
president may have been misinterpreted. The man standing near Lincoln may or 
may not be Booth; in some photographs of the scene, he does not look much 
like him. However, Powell was in Baltimore at the time, and Herold may have 
been laid up with a sprained ankle in Piscataway, Maryland. Atzerodt had 
spent the previous night rowing across the Potomac. Though he spoke freely 
about the activities of his fellow conspirators, Atzerodt never mentioned 
their presence at the Capitol that day. See Dorothy Meserve Kunhardt and 
Philip B. Kunhardt, Jr., "Twenty Days (New York: Harper and Row, 1965), 

PS: For those on the group like me who do not know who he was, Benjamin 
French was Commissioner of Public Buildings.

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